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Pilot Vehicle Which Is Useful for Monitoring Hazardous Conditions on Railroad Tracks.

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Patent, Filed 10 May 96, patented 6 May 97,

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A self-propelled remotely controlled pilot vehicle adapted for use on railroad tracks to monitor hazardous conditions and obstacles on the railroad tracks. The pilot vehicle precedes a train along the railroad tracks at a distance which will allow the train to come to a complete stop in the event the pilot vehicle encounters a hazardous condition on the track. The pilot vehicle is equipped with a sensor array which measures a variety of different parameters such as the presence of noxious gases, moisture in the atmosphere or at ground level, and breakage in one or both rails of the track. The pilot vehicle is also equipped with a television camera which provides a visual image of the railroad track ahead of the pilot vehicle to the engineer of the train. An infrared camera which is mounted on the front of the pilot vehicle generates an infrared image of the tracks and is used during darkness or in severe weather conditions to monitor the tracks for unsafe conditions or to detect animals or humans from body radiation. Information gathered by the pilot vehicles sensor array is supplied to a computer on board the pilot vehicle and is transmitted back to the train to enable the trains engineer to be apprised of conditions existing on the tracks ahead of the train in order to have time to react to potential hazards and dangerous situations on the railroad tracks.

Subject Categories:

  • Surface Transportation and Equipment
  • Optics
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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